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Maricopa County v. State

Supreme Court of Arizona

March 7, 1938

MARICOPA COUNTY, and JOHN A. FOOTE, C. WARREN PETERSON and GEORGE FRYE, as Members of and Constituting the Board of Supervisors of the County of Maricopa, Appellants,
v.
STATE OF ARIZONA, and W. P. MAHONEY, ETHER HAYNIE, RAYMOND S. MARQUIS, BERNARD MacDONALD and ANGELA HAMMER, as Members of and Constituting the ARIZONA BOARD OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND PUBLIC WELFARE, Appellees

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. G. A. Rodgers, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. John W. Corbin, County Attorney, and Mr. Lin Orme, Jr., Deputy County Attorney, for Appellants.

Mr. Joe Conway, Attorney General, Mr. J. M. Johnson and Mr. W. E. Polley, Assistant Attorneys General, and Mr. J. R. McDougall (of Counsel), for Appellees.

OPINION

Page 213

[51 Ariz. 374] ROSS, J.

The plaintiffs, members of the Arizona Board of Social Security and Public Welfare, and the defendant Maricopa County, through the members of its Board of Supervisors, being in disagreement as to which should furnish and pay for quarters for the County Board of Social Security and Public Welfare, its secretary and other employees of such county board, by proper pleadings have brought the matter to the courts for determination. In other words, they are asking for a declaratory judgment.

An answer to their request requires a construction of subdivision (d) of section 10, chapter 69, Session Laws of 1937, Regular Session. The trial court, construing this provision, was of the opinion that the duty fell to the county, and the latter has appealed. Such subdivision reads:

"(d) Members of the county boards shall, immediately after this appointment, organize by the selection of a chairman. Each county board may employ a full time secretary, who shall maintain as office in the county seat in quarters assigned or provided by the board of supervisors, and such other employees as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of the board."

The section of which this subdivision is a part provides for a County Board of Social Security and Public Welfare, to consist of one member of the Board of Supervisors and two citizens of the county appointed by the supervisors. This county board is the [51 Ariz. 375] organ through which the county speaks and informs the state board of its social and welfare conditions and needs. It is an arm of the state board, and under its control. it is authorized to appoint a full-time secretary, who shall occupy quarters "assigned or provided by the board of supervisor" at the county seat. From the language employed the legislature doubtless had in mind that quarters or space for the board, its secretary, and other employees would probably be available in the courthouse with no added expense, or, if not, the Board of Supervisors should provide quarters elsewhere. The Board of Supervisors as the fiscal agent of the county was given one member of the county board so that the personnel of the two bodies would interlock and each would have information as to the welfare needs and conditions of the county. The duty to furnish quarters was recognized as a county duty. This duty is not to furnish space sufficient for the secretary only, but sufficient for the holding of meetings by the board attended by its secretar y and "such other employees as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of the board." This means quarters rent free, also water, light, and heat, or in a general way the kind of quarters furnished the regular county officers.

The defendant county contends that this construction conflicts with the provisions of section 15 of said chapter 69, as amended by chapter 3, Third Special Session 1937. Such section reads:

"Section 15. State and County Boards; Appropriation; Expense; Distribution. There is hereby appropriated to the state and county boards, for the twenty-sixth fiscal year, the sum of one thousand dollars. The expenses of the state and county boards shall be paid out of said appropriation and out of funds made available by the old age assistance act of 1937, the dependent children's act of 1937, the needy blind act of 1937, and out of the welfare fund, provided that [51 Ariz. 376] such expenses shall not exceed five per cent of the old age assistance funds and twelve per cent of all other funds administered hereunder for any one fiscal year."

This section provides how the expenses generally of the state and county boards are to be paid, and, of course, governs where there is no special statute providing how a given expense shall be cared for, as in the case of quarters for the county board.

Page 214

We agree with the trial court's ...


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